Friday, January 21, 2011


We welcomed my newest nephew into the world yesterday! Daiven Barrett arrived at 7 1/2 pounds and 20 inches of perfectness. I know...that's probably not a word. But after holding all four of my newborn babies in my arms, I know that their slimy, red, smashed little bodies are the most precious and amazing gifts from God. I'm thousands of miles away from Daiven, but as soon as I knew who he was, I loved him. The second I heard he was a he and not a she, God made a spot in my heart for him. This aunt is longing to hold her tiniest little nephew right now!
I know that instant connection from a mommy's perspective too. The instant you find out there's a microscopic baby growing inside you, you're in love. There might be some panicking involved if the news was unexpected. I've done some of that. But even so, it's amazing how quickly you fall in love with a tiny person you've never met.
By contrast, I read the news this week about the abortion doctor in Pennsylvania who murdered babies and mothers alike in his attempt to promote "women's rights." I swayed between wanting to cry and wanting to throw up as I read the article. I just cannot imagine anyone greeting a baby's arrival into the world so callously and with so much hatred. What kind of seared conscience must a person have to stab scissors into the back of a helpless baby's neck? It hurts me to even write that. How I wish I could have lovingly held those babies for just one minute of their lives so that someone touched them the way a baby deserves to be touched.
What baffles me is that the media does not seem to particularly care. They reported it, but no more than the usual, everyday news. The weather, Miss Nebraska winning the Miss America competition, the new season of American Idol, the shooting in Arizona are all much bigger news. I'm not saying those are bad stories.
But shouldn't someone be OUTRAGED?!?!
Someone should be standing on a street corner crying for all the lost babies dying in such a disgusting place in such a horrific way.
Someone should cry for their mothers who were led by the system and a money-hungry madman to believe that killing their babies was the best option.
Someone should be screaming for prosecution against those in authority who knew something was wrong and shrugged it off, looking the other way.
Someone should be begging God for mercy on a country where innocent lives are thrown away so callously.
Maybe that someone should be me. Maybe you?
I praise God for Daiven's healthy, perfect body and his loving mommy, daddy, brothers, family, and friends who welcomed him with joy! And I thank God for the comfort of knowing that those babies who were loved by no one during their very brief lives on this earth were celebrated into heaven in the arms of Jesus.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bagging groceries at Super Saver

I have been an anxious wreck lately.
Bad, I know.
I have quoted every verse about "Be anxious for nothing" and "Do not worry about tomorrow." I have prayed and prayed. And still I find myself walking through a perfectly normal day and then panicking.
Caleb and I are considering moving. Only an hour away from Lincoln - and closer to family. But I do not do change well.
Would you like to hear my history?
The first major change in my life was when my dad decided to move our family to West Africa for a year. I was 7 (old enough to know better) and threw the only meltdown screaming fit I ever remember throwing in my life.
It was pretty pathetic.
That about sums up my feelings about moving.
We moved alot when I was young. I went to a different school every year through 7th grade. Every time we moved, my dad would have everyone vote. Every time he tallied the votes, the results were same.
Seven people say, "Let's go!" and one "No way!"
Guess who?
When I was a sophomore in highschool, my dad had an opportunity to work at an MK school in Thailand. I freaked out. Instead of throwing a hissy fit like before, I calmly told my parents that I would not be going with them to Thailand. I'd live in the dorm at my highschool and live with my grandparents over the summers.
I meant it.
I was not going.
After trying to set me up with some 17 year missionary, motorcyle driving boy in Thailand over the phone, my dad gave up and we stayed in Nebraska.
Ok. So now that I'm almost 30 you'd think I'd have the maturity and faith to handle change calmly and rely on God for strength. And I'm fighting for it. But I seem to vacillate between panicking that the details won't work out for us to move away from Lincoln and panicking that we have to leave Lincoln in the first place.
By the way, this is where it's great to have a husband who is not an emotional wreck. He does not freak out every other minute and reminds me to imitate him. Thanks honey! =)
All this long introduction to get to the point of this story.
I went grocery shopping today.
You thought it was going to be something more interesting, huh?
Just wait a second.
I had a few things to grab, so I ran into Super Saver quick with $34 in my pocket. I really did not want to spent more than that $34. But I kept grabbing a few things here and there that were on sale. And then it was 3:00 and I was hungry, so I grabbed a snack. I got to the checkout and...guess what?....worried.
Surprising, I know.
"I should've paid closer attention to how much I was spending!" I berated myself.
The checkout dude rang everything up and the total was...
...get this...
This probably seems really silly to you, but I almost cried right there.
Talk about an emotional wreck...
It was like God spoke directly to my anxious heart.
"See? Look and see what I can do. I care about your grocery money.
I care about your big decisions too.
Will you stop worrying and stressing and running and just look at me?
I can do it.
In My way and My time.
And when it's done, you will know that it was Me all along."
I'm so thankful for a God who speaks to me while I'm bagging my groceries at Super Saver. I'm in awe of his love and grace poured out on my anxious untrusting heart.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Old Testament Superhero?

I read Genesis 6 again this morning. Once again I was struck by verses 5-6 and 8-9:

"The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart...
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD....
Noah was a righetous man, blameless in his generation.
Noah walked with God."

I'm always floored by the thought that people were so depraved that everything they thought was evil, ALL the time. I like to think that the world around me comes up with some good ideas sometimes. There are alot of good people out there giving their lives for good causes - feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, loving orphans, feeding the homeless. I suppose the people in Noah's day did things that looked good on the outside too. That doesn't seem to be God's standard, though. He says "every intention of the thoughts of his heart". The motives in their hearts were wrong - even if they were doing good things.

This doesn't have anything to do with my point, but God always reminds me of part of his character when I read that He was grieved in His heart. How I'd hate to be the one who grieved God that deeply!

Ok, so Noah's living in a society that made God sorry He'd ever created them. All of them constantly disobeying God all of the time. Sometimes I feel like I live in a society like that, too. Like the powerful people in the world continue to think up one idea after another that goes against everything God says is true.

And then (I love this!) "Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD."

Somehow in the midst of all the evil, Noah alone (well, leading his family) found favor with God.

Everytime I get to this part, I wonder: What did Noah do to find favor in the eyes of God? Did he avoid all the wrong movies and stay away from the bars? Did he only watch decent tv shows and listen to Christian music? Did he walk the streets downtown passing out sandwiches to the homeless people and always treat his kids with patience?

Then I get to the last part of verse nine and I remember: "Noah walked with God."

That's all it takes.

Maybe he did those other things. But the part that made Noah find favor with God was that he walked with God.

Do I walk with God? Matching Him step for step? Sharing my faults and joys? Asking His opinion on the things that come up in my day? Enjoying time with Him?

Enough that when He asks me to spent a majority of my life doing something that looks to be absolutely insane, I obey?

How much time do I spend trying to avoid the evil in the world by conforming to externals like listening to good music and being nice to the poor? I'm not saying those are bad things. But maybe I should make my one, all-consuming goal to walk with God.

I love Psalm 27:4 (my dad's favorite verse):

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell
in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the
LORD and to inquire in His temple."

That's how Noah found favor in the eyes of God.

Not by being some kind of Old Testament superhero. By walking with God.

That is my goal for 2011.